Judge says Trump can be deposed in former ‘Apprentice’ contestant’s lawsuit

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By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A New York state decide on Monday gave former U.S. President Donald Trump a Dec. 23 deadline to go through questioning in a defamation lawsuit filed by a previous contestant on “The Apprentice” after he denied her sexual assault accusations.

Justice Jennifer Schecter of the New York condition courtroom in Manhattan stated Trump have to post to a deposition, soon after his lawyer reported Trump planned to countersue his accuser, Summer Zervos, under a state legislation created to encourage no cost speech.

Schecter ruled soon after a conference where the prepared countersuit was introduced, and attorneys for Trump and Zervos accused their opponents of stalling.

“He just cannot delay this situation any for a longer period,” Zervos’ law firm Moira Penza claimed at the conference.

Zervos had sued Trump in January 2017, but the circumstance remains unresolved in aspect simply because Trump argued when in the White Residence that a sitting president could not be sued.

That issue grew to become moot right after Joe Biden received the 2020 presidential election, which built Trump a personal citizen, New York’s optimum courtroom dominated in March.

In a statement, Trump’s new lawyer, Alina Habba, said the demo courtroom “made its place obvious right now – Ms. Zervos must comply with the court’s directive and generate all appropriate and superb discovery. In the meantime, we will be vigorously defending the President towards this frivolous lawsuit.”

Legal professionals for Zervos were not right away obtainable for comment. Any deposition of Zervos will have to also come about by Dec. 23.

In the course of the 2016 presidential marketing campaign, Zervos had accused Trump of subjecting her to unwanted kissing and groping when she sought profession assistance in 2007, two decades just after her appearance on his fact tv present.

She sued Trump soon after he referred to as such allegations by females “lies” and retweeted a post contacting Zervos’ claims a “hoax.”

Zervos has sought a retraction or an apology, additionally compensatory and punitive damages. Trump has denied Zervos’ claims and termed her circumstance politically enthusiastic.

Habba claimed Trump would file a counterclaim underneath New York’s “anti-SLAPP” regulation, which is intended to discourage lawsuits developed to punish or harass defendants for speaking out on public problems and was expanded previous November to address extra speech.

SLAPP stands for “Strategic Lawsuit In opposition to Public Participation.”

Former Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll is also suing Trump for defamation, right after he denied getting raped her in a Manhattan section retail outlet in the mid-1990s.

Trump has denied defaming Carroll, and resisted providing a deposition or offering DNA proof. He has also denied promises by many other women of poor sexual carry out.


(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York Enhancing by Dan Grebler)